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Brain, Beauty, and Art – Essays Bringing Neuroaesthetics into Focus - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Brain, Beauty, and Art: Essays Bringing Neuroaesthetics into Focus

Anjan Chatterjee and Eileen Cardilo


Neuroscience joins the long history of discussions about aesthetics in psychology, philosophy, art history, and the creative arts. In this volume, leading scholars in this nascent field reflect on the promise of neuroaesthetics to enrich our understanding of this universal yet diverse facet of human experience. The volume will inform and stimulate anyone with an abiding interest in why it is that, across time and culture, we respond to beauty, engage with art, and are affected by music and architecture. The volume consists of essays from foundational researchers whose empirical work launched t ... More

Keywords: neuroaesthetics, experimental aesthetics, beauty, visual aesthetics, cognitive neuroscience, engagement with art, aesthetic experience, interdisciplinarity, art perception

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2022 Print ISBN-13: 9780197513620
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2021 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780197513620.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Anjan Chatterjee, editor
Professor of Neurology and Founding Director of the Penn Center for Neuroaesthetics, Penn State University

Eileen Cardilo, editor
Associate Director of the Penn Center for Neuroaesthetics, Penn State University

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Section I Frameworks

2 Bringing It All Together

Marcos Nadal and Camilo J. Cela-Conde

5 Moving Toward Emotions in the Aesthetic Experience

Cinzia Di Dio and Vittorio Gallese

6 The Aesthetic Triad

Oshin Vartanian and Anjan Chatterjee

Section II Beauty

9 Facial Beauty and the Medial Orbitofrontal Cortex

John P. O’Doherty and Raymond J. Dolan

11 The Mark of Villainy

Franziska Hartung

12 A Quest for Beauty

Thomas Jacobsen

13 Scene Preferences, Aesthetic Appeal, and Curiosity

Edward A. Vessel, Xiaomin Yue, and Irving Biederman

15 Expertise and Aesthetic Liking

Martin Skov and Ulrich Kirk

16 Social Meaning Brings Beauty

Xianyou He and Wei Zhang

Section III Art

18 Embodiment and the Aesthetic Experience of Images

Vittorio Gallese, David Freedberg, and Maria Alessandra Umiltà

21 Is Artistic Composition in Abstract Art Detected Automatically?

Claudia Menzel, Gyula Kovács, Gregor U. Hayn-Leichsenring, and Christoph Redies

23 Art Is Its Own Reward

Simon Lacey and K. Sathian

24 Imaging the Subjective

Edward A. Vessel and G. Gabrielle Starr

26 Toward a Computational Understanding of Neuroaesthetics

Kiyohito Iigaya and John P. O’Doherty

Section IV Music

31 Chills, Bets, and Dopamine

Laura Ferreri, Jordi Riba, Robert Zatorre, and Antoni Rodriguez-Fornells

32 Why Does Music Evoke Strong Emotions?

Daniel J. Levitin and Lindsay A. Fleming

33 Music in All Its Beauty

Elvira Brattico and Vinoo Alluri

34 Investigating Musical Emotions in People with Unilateral Brain Damage

Amy M. Belfi, Agathe Pralus, Catherine Hirel, Daniel Tranel, Barbara Tillmann, and Anne Caclin

Section V Language and Literature

36 The Power of Poetry

Eugen Wassiliwizky and Winfried Menninghaus

37 Pictograph Portrays What It Is

Xianyou He and Wei Zhang

Section VI Dance

41 The Mind, the Brain, and the Moving Body

Bettina Bläsing and Beatriz Calvo-Merino

Section VII Architecture

45 Architectural Affordances

Zakaria Djebbara and Klaus Gramann


Anjan Chatterjee and Eileen R. Cardillo

End Matter